Former Prime Minister and one of the country’s most admired leaders, Atal Bihari Vajpayee was born on January 25, 1924. Known for his speeches, leadership and vision of India, Vajpayee is also called as the poet of politics.
On his 94th birthday anniversary, here is a look at key initiatives by late Vajpayee in the education sector.
Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, a dream project by Vajpayee govt
Launched in 2000-2001 by former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the then NDA government had announced the ‘Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan’ to provide free and compulsory education to children between 6 to 14 years. As per a statement by the Centre released in 2013, the school dropout has declined from 80 lakh in 2009 to 30 lakh in 2012 due to the success of the SSA. The net enrolment ratio at the primary level has also increased to 99.8 per cent since the launch of the scheme.
At present, there is 19.67 crore children enrolled in 14.5 lakh elementary schools in the country with 66.27 lakh teachers at the elementary level, as per SSA official website (data year).
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The Vajpayee government formulated the ‘Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan’ on the line of District Primary Education Programme (DPEP) that was taken during 1993-94 to improve the condition of primary education system in the country. Slowly, in several phases, DPEP covered 18 states and 272 districts with 85 per cent of the total expenditure provided by the Central government. The programme was also funded by the World Bank, Department for International Development (DFID) and UNICEF. According to an assessment of DPEP, the programme has covered more than 50 million children by 2001.
Former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee passed away at the age of 93 on August 16, 2018.